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Byron Kim, Synecdoche, 1991–present, oil and wax on wood, collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, installed at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. © Byron Kim

A Conversation with Artist Byron Kim

Monday, Apr 22, 2013
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Beck Building, Mezzanine
5601 Main Street Map & Directions

Synecdoche or the Relationship between Big and Small

Artist Byron Kim (born 1961) is a painter whose work lies at the intersection of figurative, abstract, and conceptual art. In the series Synecdoche, for instance, he paints abstract-looking grids from hundreds of different skin colors, each corresponding to the tone of a sitter/model. For the past 11 years, he has also painted a small square patch of the sky weekly in his series Sunday Paintings, the title of which alludes ironically to a tradition of amateur painting done especially on the weekends.

The Sunday Paintings series was inspired by Kim’s chance encounter with the writing of Chuang Tze, an early Daoist, who wrote about the relationship of the infinite to the infinitesimal. In both series, as in much of Kim's other work, paintings look like abstractions even though they are literal representations of a subject—a specific person’s skin, or the sky in a particular location on a certain date. The aesthetics of Kim’s work reflect a range of inspirations and influences: Minimalism and Conceptual art of the 1960s and 70s, along with abstract painting.

A reception with light refreshments follows the conversation.

Julia Domning | | 713.639.7861

Cosponsored by the Friends of Asian Art and the Core Program.